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7 Essentials of Save-the-date Etiquette You Should Know

Save-the-date cards inform the guests to mark their calendars about a special event well in advance. Buzzle gives you 7 essentials of save-the-date etiquette you should know, and discover how easy it can be to plan everything.
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Essential of save-the-date etiquette
"Let us now set forth one of the fundamental truths about marriage: the wife is in charge."
― Bill Cosby
Once you have decided on a date for your wedding, it is essential to send out your save-the-date cards. These pre-invitation cards inform your guests about your big day, and also provide them ample amount of time to decide whether or not they can make it to your wedding.

Even though they can't replace a formal invitation, there are a few guidelines you need to be aware of before mailing these out. In the following section, you will find some of the common etiquette questions asked by the brides-to-be.

The Etiquette Guide

Go through the 7 save-the-date etiquette mentioned below, and begin the journey of planning your wedding with as little stress as possible.

1. Am I obligated to send a save-the-date card or is the formal invitation enough?

Nowadays, weddings aren't a one-day affair. Many couples are looking towards spending an entire weekend, or are planning a destination wedding. Regardless of the wedding venue, the save-the-date cards will give your guests the heads up about your wedding plans. Sending these cards is an expected courtesy as it helps your guests decide whether or not they'll attend your celebration.

2. What sort of details am I supposed to include in the card?

There is no fixed format regarding save-the-date cards. You can be a bit flexible while determining how and what info to include in it. On the other hand, there are a few details required to serve the purpose of sending these cards. The details to include are:
  1. Names of the engaged couple (if there is no picture of the couple)
  2. Either 'Save the Date' or 'Tying the Knot' mentioned (or some other clever way of mentioning that you're engaged)
  3. Wedding date
  4. Wedding location
  5. Addition of 'Formal Invitation to Follow' phrase

Save-the-date Card Etiquette Couple with Detailed Information

Save-the-date Card Etiquette Couple Story with Information

Save-the-date Card Etiquette Couple with Wedding Information

Save-the-date Card Etiquette Destination Wedding Information

Here are a few examples to help you decide.

No matter how creative, quirky, unique, and/or funny your save-the-date card is, the 4 key elements have to be mentioned. Also, placing your registry information on the card should be avoided; that goes separately with the formal invitation.

3. Do I need to follow a theme that matches the formal invitations or the wedding color(s)?

No, not really. Many people suggest that it's necessary that you do so. However, if you haven't finalized a wedding theme or colors, the save-the-date cards can be independent by itself.

Save-the-date Card Etiquette No Wedding Color Theme

Save-the-date Card Etiquette Without Wedding Color Theme

Neither of these cards clearly indicate a theme for the wedding.

Take these cards as a way to express your love for one another and announce that you are getting married. So why not some fun with it? The wedding theme and the cards do not have to match one another.

4. Do I have to send a save-the-date to all my guests?

Although it's not an obligation, but sending a save-the-date to everyone on your guest list is beneficial for the invitees. This is so that out-of-town relatives and friends can make significant travel plans. Also, with these cards, you are hoping that they will attend your special day, and reserve that day and make all the necessary arrangements. On the other hand, many brides-to-be try to cut costs by sending these cards only to a handful of guests. If you wish to do so, make sure that you're sending the cards to everyone who might interact with each other.

5. Is there an "envelope addressing" etiquette that I need to keep in mind? And do I mention who is invited to the wedding?

Yes, there is a particular manner of writing and placing the information on the envelopes that the cards will be sent in. The details to include are:
  1. Addressing the guests with their professional titles or by using Mr., Mrs., or Ms.
  2. Writing full names of the guests (no nicknames or initials allowed)
  3. Spelling out the address properly
  4. Spelling out the city and state/country names
  5. Providing your return address on the envelope
So first things first, gather the addresses of all of your family members and friends. Second, choose a calligraphy pen to write the addresses by hand, and make sure it is legible. But, if you are short on time, you can type and print the addresses from your laptop using a calligraphy-style font.

Save-the-date Card Etiquette Married Couple Address

Married Couple

Save-the-date Card Etiquette Single Female with Guest Address

Single Female or Male with a Guest

Save-the-date Card Etiquette Unmarried Couple Address

Unmarried Couple

Save-the-date Card Etiquette Family with Kids Address

Family with Kids

Save-the-date Card Etiquette Same-sex Couple Address

Same-sex Couple

6. How soon should I send the save-the-date cards out?

Technically, and more acceptably, you need to send these out at least 6 months prior to the ceremony. This rule applies for a wedding conducted locally; as in, the couple, their families, friends, and other guests live in and around the location of the wedding. On the other hand, if you are planning a destination wedding, a general rule is to send the cards out 8 months in advance. This way, your guests can decide whether or not they wish/can attend your wedding, make the necessary travel requirements, save a bit of cash, and take a few days off from work.

7. I have made a huge blunder in my save-the-date cards. Do I print it all over again?

Let's just say that the cards have already been sent out and later on, you noticed an error or perhaps there was an unexpected change of plans (venue, date, time, etc.). If such an issue arises, instead of spending more money on reprinting and re-sending the cards, there is only one thing you can do―call your guests and give them the update.

As with any printed item, you need to be careful every step of the way. Apart from following the 7 etiquette mentioned above, make sure there are no spelling errors. The save-the-date cards are a reflection of you as a couple; so, make it a memorable one.
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Published: June 18, 2014
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